Top Line Summary

  • Fell way below the high standards 
  • Not aggressive enough to see the game out and lacked the hunger to prevent the equaliser
  • Celtic can still defend their title crown
  • Relishing the challenge ahead

Everything that Brendan Rodgers said to BBC Radio Scotland after Celtic's 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw with Kilmarnock...

You set high standards for this football club. How far did the team drop below that today?

It was quite a way. The performance level was nowhere near what we would want. It looked like we were going to get away with it. It looked like we were going to see the game through and have a good result despite a poor performance but it ended up neither. It is very disappointing.

How flat does the dressing room feel?

You are always disappointed. I think it is the nature of how we conceded. It is not the first time that has happened. We have been in this situation a number of times now where we have been in front and not taken opportunities to extend the lead and we have given ourselves anxiety and then given the opposition something to hang onto. Naturally when you do that a number of times that will disappoint I am disappointed for the supporters as it was a disappointing day for them and I take responsibility for that.

That's four times it has happened at home this season - draws to St Johnstone, Motherwell, Kilmarnock and a loss to Hearts - does that concern you that it keeps happening and we are in February?

Yes, absolutely. Like I said it is not a one-off. It has happened too many times. When you look at the metrics of how the team has been doing from an analysis perspective the defensive side has been the one area where there has been a drop, that's for sure. We have been missing key players in those areas. That aside we have to be harder to beat at times and we have to be more aggressive. If you've got to see out a game you have got to do that. It has just happened too many times.

You have mentioned before that you want additional quality. Is that what you are alluding to in the fact that the players who came on couldn't make the impact that you wanted? Is there a flatness there? I'm thinking of after half-time for example.

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No. The guys came in last week and did make an impact. I just feel they need aggression in their game whether that is with or without the ball. If you analyse the goal that we conceded late on we are in a really good position in the final third of the pitch and we didn't make the right decisions and we give the ball away. How they progress through the pitch without pressure and aggression and then score at the back post is a really poor goal from our perspective. There needs to be a greater hunger to stop a goal going in otherwise you end up putting yourself in that position. It is likewise with the offensive side you have to have that aggression and that directness. We invited pressure, especially in the second half, by not progressing the game and moving the ball quick enough through the team. We ended up playing sideways and backwards instead of having the authority in the game to go forward.

You are still top of the league by a point and again there was a negative reaction from the crowd at the end. What do you say to the fans? Is it a case of being patient? Are you confident you can turn it around and defend your title?

Yes. One there is still a long way to go. I am sure it will be to-and-fro between now and the last game. I said before it was never going to be a procession. Every title is there to fight for. We are still there to do that. I totally get the reaction of the supporters. Even winning 1-0 today they would not have been happy with that performance. For us to draw the game, I totally get it. What I can say is that we will be doing everything we possibly can to get the team in a better place after a disappointing result to go again next week. They have just got to stay with the team and give us that great support that they always will do.

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You are a man who loves a challenge. Is this going to extend you as a coach the chance to stop a repetitive cycle as you said it is not the first time this has happened. That is quite a challenge. isn't it?

I like the challenge of that there is no doubt. I have had to fight all my career and this is another great challenge that we have. It is going to be tight. We will get over the disappointment and have a positive week next week and we will analyse the game and see where we can be better.